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Wednesday, 17 August 1921

Senator E D MILLEN (NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister for Repatriation) . - Senator Lynch said just now that he was not prepared to accept a Ministerial assurance, and I take it that he means he would like an assurance approved by-Parliament. I may point out that there is a difficulty in setting out his intention in the form he desires. I have already assured him that these articles will be admitted free until they are produced in Australia. It is not possible for Parliament legislating to-day to say when that day will be, and it is therefore left to departmental by-laws to determine when the duties shall become operative. I can only give the definite assurance in the clearestlanguage of whichIam the master that it' is the intention of the Minister and the Department to see that the articles made here are of the requisite quality, and in the necessary quantity to meet our requirements, and that not until then will the duties be imposed. I give that assurance to. the Committee without the slightest reservation, and it is for the Committee to decide whether it shall heaccepted or not. I think the Committee, and even Senator Lynch, will see that I have gone as faras is humanly possible,and I trust that Senator Lynch will not press the matter further.

Senator Lynch - In the- circumstances, I . suppose I am compelled to accept theMinister's assurance, but I do- so grudgingly.

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